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Health Consumer Organisation Support Reports

What are Health Consumer Organisations?

The Code of Conduct defines Health Consumer Organisations (HCOs) as not-for-profit organisations that represent the interests and views of consumers of healthcare. They may range from small volunteer groups to large organisations, and generally promote views that are independent of government, the pharmaceutical industry and professional health service providers.

Medicines Australia recognises and supports positive and beneficial relationships between industry and health consumer organisations. Companies may enter into relationships with health consumer organisations with the objective of enhancing the quality use of medicines and supporting better health outcomes for the Australian community.

Through collaboration between Medicines Australia, the Consumers Health Forum of Australia and other health consumer organisations, a set of guidelines Working Together – A Guide to relationships between Health Consumer Organisations and Pharmaceutical Companies has been developed. Companies must consider these principles when entering into relationships with health consumer organisations.

Relationships between health consumer organisations and companies should involve the following components that are essential in any relationship:

  • Respect for independence
  • Achieving and maintaining public trust
  • Fairness
  • Openness and transparency
  • Accountability

What must be reported?

Each company must provide to Medicines Australia for publication on its website, a report listing health consumer organisations to which it provides financial support and/or significant direct/indirect non-financial support. The published report must include:

  1. the name of the health consumer organisation; and
  2. a description of the nature of the support that is sufficiently complete to enable the average reader to form an understanding of the nature of the support; and
  3. the monetary value of financial support and of invoiced costs. For significant non-financial support that cannot be assigned a meaningful monetary value, the published information must describe clearly the non-monetary value that the organisation receives.

Reporting Timelines

The first annual report of support of health consumer organisations, including the monetary value of support regardless of its level, must be submitted to Medicines Australia by 30 April 2014 and cover activities commenced on or after 1 January 2013 or ongoing on that date. Thereafter, the report must be provided to Medicines Australia on an annual basis by 30 April each year covering the previous calendar year.

Company Reports Summary

1 January 2015 – 31 December 2015
Number of company reports 33
Number of Health Consumer Organisations supported 276
Total number of support reports/projects 412
Total value of support provided $9,156,063